The 4 Dwarf Faces of Playing Ugly
“I’m not afraid to play ugly – look at ‘Adaptation.’ I looked like a turd that a cat had coughed up. ”
The desire to grow and the subconscious commitment to “look good” just don’t jibe.
You can’t get both. You can grow almost imperceptibly, and maybe keep your suit fairly pressed and most of your makeup in place. Or you can grow fast…and good luck keeping your hair and tie from blowing in the wind.
In the end, extreme growth, over whatever time period you’ve allotted for it, can only come through trying, expanding, being and looking different than you did before.
Steve Martin had a comedy album in the 70’s entitled “Comedy Is Not Pretty”.
Neither is real, committed, no-turning-back, burn-the-boats growth. It ain’t pretty.
If that growth is what you want, you must allow, accept and even invite mistakes, failed attempts, gaffs, and looking like an ass. All come with the territory.
For myself, in growing to allow, empower and accept the great gifts of “team” that I’m blessed with – after lots of solo-preneur background – I find myself not necessarily doing things in as smooth or PC a way as I’d like. In my perfect world, I’d always be accommodating and flexible and impervious to having my ego tweaked…and yet I can’t spend all of my time either in meditation or psychoanalysis with the big game I’m out to play or the inspiring message I’m out to deliver.
Not so say meditation and therapy aren’t valuable and to be used in appropriate ways and measures…and yet perhaps the biggest element to be released as we’re growing is the attachment to looking good as we grow.
In coaching and supporting executives, entrepreneurs and “big game” players, I’ve offered to them the idea that their growth will only be limited by their level of compassion for themselves. If they can’t accept the mistakes and not-so-pretty appearances they make at times, they will retrench, rationalize a reason for not continuing, or in whatever other ways slow down their growth and whatever that growth was to bring the world.
The world needs you to grow, because you have yet to do what you came here to do!
Here’s a few different faces you can take on when you’re committed enough to something to play ugly.
Actually take some time to look at yourself in the mirror as you’re complaining about how you didn’t do this or that right, or how silly you must have looked when this or that didn’t work.
Look at that scowl. Acknowledge that frustration.
Lighten things up a bit by remembering that you didn’t even know anything about what you’re doing now just a short time ago. Acknowledge that you didn’t know and maybe even still don’t know all that you want…and develop a little more playful, curious attitude.
Whatever you did or didn’t do isn’t going to shift the world. Lighten up!
Give yourself a little examination. Are you leveling up your self-compassion with your desire to grow and learn and expand? What prescription of self-championing, affirmative self-talk, or extreme self-care can you offer?
Your best source of continued expansion will come from those internal prescriptions of support.
Acknowledge and appreciate that you’re only playing ugly because you’re one of the small percentage of people willing to get started and play first (before they have it all figured out) so as to get to where you want to go.
Find ways to see and count the blessings of where you are now vs where you used to be, and appreciate (which means “grow in value”) those blessings as getting you closer to where you want to be.
What area of growth in your life means enough to you that you’re willing to play ugly?
You won’t get there by looking Snow White.
“Play in the dirt, because life is too short to always have clean fingernails. ”